The competition had to know this day was coming. Nearly a year after a drastic rules change took away the four-valve engine combination that carried Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines to wins in 15 of 16 events, the Screamin’ Eagle Harley team has clawed its way back to the top of the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle class. One week after Hines won the Charlotte round, Krawiec scored his first win of the season at the AAA of Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex just outside Dallas. Unlike last season when he simply out-powered many of his opponents, Krawiec, the reigning class champion, used his riding ability to win the final round as he gained a sizable starting line advantage against Viper Motorcycle Co. Buell’s Matt Smith and held on for the win with a 6.95 elapsed time, crossing the finish line ahead of Smith’s quicker 6.91-second run.
“I’m just happy to be here,” Krawiec said. “A lot of luck went my way this weekend. It’s easy to show up to a race, but it’s hard to be competitive. There are a lot of great motorcycles and racers and a lot of luck went my way this weekend. I was riding great, but I wasn’t racing great but no matter; this is a huge win for the Harley-Davidson team.”
Krawiec qualified number five in the field with a 6.902 that set up a first round race against Vance & Hines teammate Hines, the winner of last weekend’s Charlotte round. Since Krawiec qualified for the Countdown to the Championship and is thus eligible to win the championship, it was not surprising to see him easily defeat his teammate although Krawiec’s 6.89 run would have been tough to beat regardless.
A round later, Krawiec ran into a mechanical issue and slowed, but good fortune was with him as his opponent, Sovereign/Star Buell’s Michael Ray, had already ended the race with a starting-line foul. Krawiec moved into the final following a narrow 6.925 to 6.929 win against low qualifier Hector Arana Sr. With four rounds remaining, Krawiec has climbed to fourth in the championship standings, just 62 points behind leader Hector Arana Jr.
“This is a huge win for the Harley-Davidson team – they give us everything we need,” Krawiec said. “We were down and struggling a little, but now we’re back. This weekend I was also struggling as a racer; I sucked on the Tree, but we got the win. If we can continue and improve, I think you’re going to see our Harley’s sitting up front.”